Last Monday morning I was performing my WordPress web care plans for my clients and usually everything runs very smoothly, so smooth you could skate on it. However last Monday, when updating a client’s website there was an issue. When checking the website I saw the horrible message “This site is experiencing technical difficulties”.
This is the equivalent to the blue screen of death on a computer. You know that something is wrong but you don’t know what. All in all it’s not that helpful so I needed to do some digging around.
Checking my favourite search engine (I’ll leave you guessing on that one), I realised that there must be an issue with one of the plugins (small additional programs to get WordPress do what you want it to do). Plugins can be like kids in the playground, most of the time they play nice but every so often an argument or fight might break out. This is called a plugin has incompatibility issues – it doesn’t play well with the other kids.
I could feel my pulse beginning to race and although I was telling myself to calm down I knew I was getting stressed already. I kept trying to tell myself to calm down, I’ve got this.
When you’re calm you can think more clearly, it’a actually a chemical thing. I know, I’ll just restore the website because I took an automatic backup only a few hours ago. I cannot stress how important is it to take a backup before doing any updates to your website (yes, I put that in bold because it’s that important!). I’d rather take a backup a not need it, than to need a backup and not have one. The normally flawless restore failed abysmally. Not only did it fail, the website was in a worst position than before. This is when my heart rate really began to increase and the stress, which had begun to lessen, now it shot up like a rocket.
The website had gone from just having an error message on it to completely disappearing. This was not the way it was supposed to go!
So what now ? Breathe. In and out. Slowly.
I’ve got this. I can do a manual restore. I wanted someone to agree with my thoughts though (because everything had gone so well so far – not!), so I went into a Facebook group were there a lot of web designers and said this has happened any ideas?
Even though this was around 6 a.m. in the morning (yes, I did say 6 a.m.) I got an immediate response – yes, do a manual restore. I had already started downloading the backup file to my laptop. It was great to get some confirmation that I was heading in the right direction. Sometimes, that’s all we need.
I restored the website manually. The website owner would have been none the wiser but I did let them know in case anything weird happened that day. It didn’t, the website was fine.
Why am I telling you this? Because I’m a one woman business, I don’t have a team around me, at least not physically. However I know that I can cope with any situation, because I do have a virtual team around me. I’m in Facebook groups where I know I can get almost instant help because of the generosity of others. I also give back by helping others in these Facebook groups.
My business could not run smoothly without my team of professionals which includes some wonderful accountants, one here in Australia and another in the UK. Neither of these accountants were my first accountants, so it took me a little while to find them, but both of them are worth their weight in gold. I don’t want to imagine my business life with them.
Work out who you need in your team. They fill in the knowledge that you don’t have. You need people in your team so that you can focus on what you need to be doing, and that may not always be the details of the business. You’re also the CEO and as such you need to control the direction of your business.
If you’re not technically minded when it comes to your website, work out what virtual team member you need. Ask in your local network groups, ask in online groups, stating your situation and also what you require in your new team member. For example, I have been recommended accountants before, but what I didn’t say was that I needed somebody who could speak down to my level. I’m not an accountant. I need things explained to me in a simple fashion, and if an accountant can’t do that for me then we’re not a good fit.
If you’re not confident about the technical aspects of your website, then find out who can look after your website for you or decide you have the time to learn more about it yourself.
You may think that this is an expense for your business, but in fact it’s really an investment in your time and your business. Having somebody in your team to fulfill the roles that you can’t or don’t want to, takes stress away from you, leaving you to focus on your business. Make sure you have their email address or phone number handy, so that you know who to contact, if or when, something goes wrong.
This is one way you can know that you have got this and that you can cope.
Running a small business will always have some stresses, but you can minimize them if you have the right team around you, even if that’s a virtual team and not somebody close at hand.
If this is something that resonates with you, and you know that you need a WordPress website member for your team, let’s connect to see if we’re a good fit.